Institutions, ranging from the University, to the city, to the nation state mediate our social and moral relationships with others near and far. Yet, often responsibility for these institutions are located primarily—if not solely—with those with the most apparent power. My dissertation works through Ricoeur’s thought and the Catholic Social Teaching tradition in order to get at the question of the nature of institutions, and how a better understanding of them can ground a more general responsibility for each who form a part of an institution for the various ways they shape and form our shared lives together.
As one who keenly appreciates the work institutions large and small, I am grateful for the opportunities that the Marty Center Fellowship provides to me. As a Martin Marty Center Fellow this year, I hope to bring to a close the two major sections of my dissertation, treating Ricoeur’s work on institutions, and addressing reflections on institutions and inter-institutional relations within Catholic Social Thought. I am excited about the opportunity to share my work with peers from other disciplines who are committed to give close readings and critical feedback. I look forward to the opportunity to learn from my peers about the broader study of religion through their research, and I hope to better attune my work to a wider public through teaching, conversations with my peers, and through sharing my work with invited members of the public.